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Oracle Blockchain Commits to Wine Distribution Integrity

Adrien Lhemann
Cloud Engineer

The cold chain distribution of wine bottles prevents wine spoilage at a low-temperature range before the bottle is purchased and enjoyed. However, the lack of mechanisms in the supply chain that monitor the integrity of the distribution have stakeholders concerned about the handling of their wine from source to destination.

A business opportunity

How do you monitor the distribution of wine bottles down the supply chain? How can stakeholders rely on cloud technology to reliably capture temperature data systematically?

The industry has an opportunity to utilize cloud technologies for better handling and monitoring the wine bottle’s distribution from wineries, distributors, retailers, and customers. Partners look for wine distribution integrity. The goal is for their products to be free from damage or spoilage. Space exists to improve customer experience, brand awareness, and reputation.

The market for wine distribution integrity

US consumers are drinking quality and expensive wines. According to the Wine Industry Network, wine shipments to consumers soared to a record $3.7 Billion in 2020, representing a record of 8.39 million cases of wine shipped to consumers and a 27% volume growth as buyers value online convenience amid COVID-19 restrictions. One in three wine bottles is subjected to poor transport conditions. Wine exposed to temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit develops prematurely, loses the ability to age properly, loses freshness, and experiences degradation in color and taste. Distribution and shipment conditions are the most vulnerable.

A inforgraphic about wine around the world.
Visual Capitalist

Oracle’s proposed solution

Our Oracle Cloud Engineering team architected a solution for tracking wine bottle distribution from wineries to consumers. We’ve designed a proof of concept that adopts a capsule monitoring device and interfaces with a consumer application developed using Oracle JavaScript Extension Toolkit (JET), a modular open source toolkit. Our project’s design permits stakeholders (wineries, distributors, retailers, and consumers) to scan a wine-fitted capsule, retrieving current bottle temperature, bottle location, wine details, and temperature history.

Solution architecture

A graphic depicting the future state architecture.

Our Blockchain solution, hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), is made of infrastructure components: virtual machines (VMs), load balancers, internet gateway, database, and Oracle cloud platform services, Visual Builder Studio (VBS), Blockchain Platform, and Application Express (APEX).

The customer-facing app is a real-time application deployed on NodeJS servers. OCI load balancers were provisioned to distribute requests for wine information from the phone application to the Blockchain Platform across node servers using NodeJS HTTP requests. Application developers use VBS for storing code repository, maintaining source code and version control (Git). Application users interact with the JET application, firmware device (capsule), Square, Inc. through the JET app, and APEX.

To transact with 100% confidence, our team selected Oracle’s Blockchain platform to maintain a tamper-proof distributed ledger for recording critical information during the bottle’s journey from the winery to the consumer. Temperature, bottle ownership transfers, and timestamp data are recorded on Blockchain and Autonomous Data Warehouse.

We adopted Square, Inc. to serve as both a wine inventory system and payment system, accessible by the consumer for checkout.

Wine information is stored in Autonomous Data Warehouse for frontend APEX reporting by application administrators. They can search for wine, review recent orders, and share order statistics and wine details with other administrators.

Cordova Apache, an open source mobile development framework, enabled us to build cross-platform applications in both iOS and Android. The frontend application was designed to interface with an external firmware device employing near-field communication (NFC), a system commonly used for mobile payments. The Adobe Phonegap NFC plugin, which enables the reading and writing of tags using the NDEF format, was integrated into our app for wineries, distributors, retailers, and consumers to scan wine caps with their phones.

Application flow

The frontend application enables wine distribution. Initially, cap details are published to Oracle Blockchain platform and sent to wineries. After caps are received, wineries assign and insert caps on their wine bottles. Caps are scanned by the wine application, which automatically records wine info and temperature data to the Oracle Blockchain. Wineries list their wine inventory on Square, Inc. for retailers to check out and distributors to ship.

Retailers place an order with distributors through Square, Inc., from which distributors place an order with wineries.

A winery signs in to the wine app and fulfills an order placed by the distributor. To fulfill an order placed by the distributor, the winery must scan their inventory of wine.


Winer logs into the wine app and scans the bottle.

 


Accept or reject wine bottle (Spoilage risk above 77 degrees).

If the wine is accepted, the bottle is added to the order list and shipped to the distributor. When the distributor receives the order, the process repeats itself, and the wine is shipped to the retailer.

When the retailer receives an order, they scan caps to verify wine temperatures before adding them to their inventory.

A screenshot of an example order of wine.

Customers can browse for wine sold online or at nearby retailers. If purchased in store, wine buyers scan bottles, querying blockchain data, and receive temperature data, descriptions, and specifications for wines scanned. They can add items to their cart and check out through Square, Inc.

Creating trust

Oracle Blockchain Platform Cloud service ensures the integrity of each bottle of wine by running smart contracts and maintaining a tamper-evident blockchain. The implementation provides real-time visibility over wine temperature data, ultimately building trust among stakeholders responsible for delivering wine to their consumers. As online sales increase during the pandemic, consumers can take reassurance in knowing that their bottle was fully tracked and monitored while enjoying their next glass of wine.

What’s next?

Check out Oracle Blockchain as part of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for yourself. Take advantage of Oracle Cloud’s 30-day free trial, which includes US $300 in credit and our Always Free services.

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